Star Wars, Tales of the Ruby Queen
A woman of medium height and athletic build. She rarely smiles and is usually all business.
Dr. Jotano is the sort of individual whose personality projects a great deal more authority than her mere physical presence ever could. She isn’t very tall and not very heavily built, but when she speaks with authority she is obeyed. She usually wears her strawberry blond hair in a tight bun or under a bandanna. Her blue-green eyes don’t miss anything and she’s able to quickly assess any medical situation and formulate the correct plan of action. She is gruff, rude and has the bedside manner of a slab of granite, but she does actually care about her patients and never suffers them to endure more pain than is absolutely necessary. In fact she is so averse to seeing others in pain that she doesn’t carry a lethal weapon (she won’t use a blaster or even a combat vibro-weapon, but she’s kickass with a baton) and has been known to treat downed opponents if the situation makes it possible.
Jotano doesn’t want to make friends, she’s with the team to do a job and that’s it. She congregates with the rest of the team when she has to and no more. She wants to be left alone and asked as few questions as possible. She especially doesn’t talk about her past, the burn scars on her face, her heritage or the white and blue Mandalorian armor she wears constantly. She would rather leave the team than discuss any of those things. She also actively discourages the speaking of Mando’a (the Mandalorian tongue) in her presence though will respond with it if she sees she has no choice. When outside the ship she wears the helmet of her armor along with the rest of it and never takes it off.
Tyssa Jotano was born on the agricultural world of Concord Dawn in 42 BBY. Her family had a farmstead on one of the northern continents, about as far as one could go and still raise a viable crop. When Tyssa was about seven years old she witnessed her older brother – whom she adored – badly injured in an accident with some old farming equipment. Had even moderately competent medical assistance been on hand he may have survived the wound but with no one around except his terrified little sister, Nico Jotano wasn’t long for this galaxy. By the time her father and uncles had come to see why the two kids hadn’t come home that night for supper, they found Tyssa sobbing over the cold, bled out corpse of her older brother.
From that moment on Tyssa vowed two things. She would learn to be a doctor so she could help people who were injured and in pain…and as soon as she was able she would get the hell off of Concord Dawn and never go back.
She secured a scholarship to a prestigious medical academy on Coruscant and left her home world to study there. The program was six years long and she worked extremely hard to excel – to learn everything about both humanoid and xenoform medicine that the instructors there could teach her. In her fourth year she was invited to do an internship at the Jedi Temple and study their methods for a year. It was the first year of the Clone Wars and many Jedi were called away to answer the Separatist threat, leaving a need for competent support staff to pick up the slack. While there she served ably and made a number of friends among the medical staff as well as a number of Jedi. Though she was Mandalorian by birth, she never felt especially connected to her warrior heritage and enjoyed being in the company of the calm, serene and wise warrior monks. When her internship was finished she went back to do her last two years at the academy with an offer to return and work for the Jedi full time as soon as she graduated.
Then came General Order 66.
All over the galaxy, the clone soldiers turned on and murdered their Jedi officers, but Tyssa – a newly minted, fully qualified, board certified doctor had no more inkling as to what would happen than any of the Jedi did. When she rushed to the temple for a job interview that would have been a mere formality she didn’t know she was walking into a massacre.
When she watched Anakin Skywalker march into the Temple backed up by the 501st Battalion she had no idea what was going on. She had met Skywalker a couple of times and even developed a bit of a crush on the handsome hero of the Republic so when he and his troops began slaughtering anything in the Temple with a pulse she was momentarily stunned into inaction. It didn’t last long. As a medic she was used to acting quickly under stress. She quickly snapped out of her temporary disbelief and went to work attempting to give aid to the wounded. Unfortunately, the soldiers and their rogue Sith master weren’t content with merely inflicting wounds, they wanted everyone in that Temple dead. So when they encountered an unarmed civilian in a cleaning products store room along with several other wounded individuals, they didn’t hesitate. They lobbed two thermal detonators into the room and sealed the door.
One of the Jedi who was wounded sacrificed his own life attempting to erect a force barrier between Tyssa and the grenade blasts. While it was effective at keeping the concussion from blasting her to pieces it didn’t stop the flames from the ignited cleaning products badly burning her. When she finally crawled out of that storeroom she had third and fourth degree burns on most of the right side of her body, including her right arm, her right leg, some of her left leg, some of her left arm and small patches on her face. Barely able to remain conscious from the searing agony, she was able to convince a terrified protocol droid to drag her screaming, bloody body to the lower medical levels. The last thing she managed to tell the poor protocol droid before she passed out was that she had to – by hook or by crook – be placed in a bacta tank or she would die. Unfortunately for her, the droid simply wasn’t up to the task, so it went looking for help. It found a pair of labor droids who could lift her and she was unceremoniously dumped into the tank, but since none of the droids were medical droids and there were none of those to be found, she wasn’t disrobed before she was dunked.
When she was discovered by living beings again, she was in an awful mess. Since she hadn’t had the clothing she was wearing removed properly before she was dunked, the bacta couldn’t do its work properly. She realized when she awoke that this would have to be done, but as she hauled herself out of the tank still in awful pain, she realized she had another problem, because the living beings who discovered her were more of the 501st – and this time they didn’t have Anakin Skywalker with them, this time they were escorting the newly forged Darth Vader. She didn’t know why they were there again and she didn’t care.
In the presence of that much dread evil, she had a moment of clarity. She knew she was going to die and something inside her just didn’t give a damn. With a titanic effort she stood up and looked into the Vader’s black eyes and explained that all she wanted was to make sick people better, but if that was really an offense that merited the death penalty so be it. She was prepared.
But Vader spared her. He told his troops to finish what she had begun. They removed her clothing (none too gently) and prepared to put her back in the tank to once again let the bacta do its work but before they did he spoke to her.
“I want you to remember two things, first, you live because I permit it. Second, you were unable to save a single life here. Not one.”
With that, he turned around and left while she was re-submerged.
The Bacta’s processes were interrupted and the second dunking was done in fluid that was partially contaminated and not replaced after she exited the tank the first time. As a result, the process was only partially successful. While it healed her burns it didn’t regenerate her skin properly and left her with a degree of deep tissue nerve damage. She didn’t have the money for cybernetic replacements so she began to rely on potent narcotics to ease her discomfort and allow her to function day to day. Unfortunately, these narcotics had numerous side effects, worst of which was that they were habit forming. Once it was known that she was addicted to pain meds no hospital on Coruscant or anywhere in “civilized” space would employ her. Worse yet, an application was made to the Republic Medical Assembly to de-certify her because it was considered a form of medical malpractice to practice medicine while under the influence of anything more than a mild stimulant.
Stripped of her hard won credentials and needing to feed an expensive habit, she spent the last of her credits on a call home to ask for her Aunt’s old battle armor to be sent to the her via courier. Her family, not having heard from her in some time and sensing she was in some sort of trouble, sent her the armor and some extra credits. She took that money along with whatever medical supplies she could buy, borrow or steal and headed to the Outer Rim. There she made a name for herself as an extremely talented but equally prickly freelance medic. She might have been able to set up a private clinic and done well for herself but her narcotic habit kept her from being able to generate the startup cash she required. So, until she joined the team, she was itinerant, wandering from job to job, making her way as best she could.